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more on slow boat down mekong river to luang prabang

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1. Posted by rick2u (Budding Member, 15 posts) 22 Sep '05 07:09

rick2u has indicated that this thread is about Laos

Any comments on these boat tours as arranged by guest houses in Chiang Khong, any recommendations, anyway to ensure not being on a sardine can of a boat. Thanks in advance

2. Posted by travelfish (Full Member, 75 posts) 22 Sep '05 20:28

The boat is cheaper if you buy the ticket on the Lao side rather than buying it in Chiang Khong. Short of hiring your own boat, there is no real way to avoid the sardine scene (unless of course nobody else is on the boat that day!)

3. Posted by thezenyen (Full Member, 88 posts) 28 Sep '05 22:34

you dont have to buy at the guest houses, go to the jetty on the Lao side and just buy the ticket direct. You'll pay less! on the fast boat, my knees were up to my chest almost! and i'm 5ft 4! and the noise is horrible. Get a good good pair of ear plugs, I went deaf for 2 days after the ride-dat was terrifying

Yen

4. Posted by xs.if (Full Member, 67 posts) 1 Oct '05 00:23

Quoting thezenyen

you dont have to buy at the guest houses, go to the jetty on the Lao side and just buy the ticket direct. You'll pay less! on the fast boat, my knees were up to my chest almost! and i'm 5ft 4! and the noise is horrible. Get a good good pair of ear plugs, I went deaf for 2 days after the ride-dat was terrifying

Yen

definitely buy it on the lao side. if you can its very easy to do the whole thing yourself and much cheaper too. from chiang mai you can get a local bus from the bus station (you won't be the only tourist on this bus, but its a comfortable local bus) the journey take about 8 hours leaving about 7.30 or 8 am, to chiang khong (200 baht maybe less cant remember). accommodation is cheap and plenty in chiang khong. the day you want to cross into laos head to the immigration in c.khong get your exit stamp and the boat across costs 20 baht, on the otherside after passing through laos immigration, walk up from the jetty to the main road (its little road, but its a main road - in laos), turn left and you'll walk for about 15 minutes and see a sign on your left for the jetty of the boat to luang prabang, head down ther hill towards the boat and look right, there some stairs you can get the tickets from there (from the horses mouth in a sense) it cost 660 baht (ps DO NOT take the fast boat) the slow boats ok, a bit more chilled.

if you did all this from chiang mai we were quoted about 1200 baht, doing it ourselves cost about 850 baht maximum including bus to c.khong.

this is an option, and its a piece of piss, and you're doing things on your own schedule not some travel agents.

happy travelling...

5. Posted by tsubaki (Budding Member, 36 posts) 4 Oct '05 02:16

Hi, thanks for the useful info, we were quoted quite a lot too. Do you know if it's possible to also buy tickets from the same place (Laos side)to go further north, to Luang nam Tha? And from there back down to Luang Prabang? Heading to Laos next week for 3 weeks and want to see more than LP and Vientiane (have been there already).
Thanks!

6. Posted by danalasta (Respected Member, 516 posts) 22 Oct '05 07:22

Hi,

Heading for Luang Nam Tha ? You can after crossing into Laos via Chiang Kong...always look out for morning trips by truck buses or buses... transport movement slows down as the sun goes up.. you can, from Luang Nam tha,go to luang prabang, via Oudamxai, but the journey can be painfully bumpy...in all it may take u more than half a day...about four hours from luang nam tha to oudamxi, and from here, about five hours to LP. if u are unable to get transport in oudamxai, stay overnight..there are places for backpackers...remember in luang nam tha, electricity is on from 6pm to 10pm,but in LP, u will be okay.

HAVE FUN, esp in Luang Namtha...where u can shoot rapids, trek to hilltribe villages,weaving centres,etc. just be careful of malaria...one fine place to stay...boat landing guesthouse where operator, somphoon and his wife, Joy, are very helpful. nice place to stay by the banks of nam ha river.

cheers